Trust & Decentralization
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How do You Know Who to Trust?

Combined Session
Wednesday, May 10, 2023 12:40—13:00

OpenID Connect Federation enables trust establishment at scale and is being deployed to do so in Europe.

A key question when granting access to resources is “Who do you trust?”.  It’s often important to know who the party is that you’re interacting with and whether they’ve agreed to the terms and conditions that apply when accessing a resource.

OpenID Connect enables identities of participants to be securely established but doesn’t answer the question of whether a participant is trusted to access a resource such as your personal data.  A complementary mechanism is needed to do that.  In small-scale and static deployments, it’s possible to keep a list of the trusted participants.  However, in large-scale and dynamic deployments, that doesn’t scale.

This presentation will describe how the OpenID Connect Federation protocol enables scalable trust establishment with dynamic policies.  It does so by employing trust hierarchies of authorities, each of which are independently administered.  Examples of authorities are federation operators, organizations, departments within organizations, and individual sites.

Two OpenID Connect Federations are deployed in Italy, enabling secure access to digital services operated by Italian public and private services with Italian digital identities.  This presentation will also describe why OpenID Connect Federation was selected for them and how it meets their needs.  OpenID Connect Federation is being used by the GAIN PoC.  A public deployment is also being planned in Sweden.

Dr. Michael B. Jones
Dr. Michael B. Jones
Michael B. Jones is a Standards Architect at Microsoft. He is an editor of the OpenID Connect specifications, several IETF OAuth specifications, including JSON Web Token (JWT), the IETF JOSE (JSON...
Giuseppe De Marco
Giuseppe De Marco
Dipartimento per la Trasformazione Digitale
Giuseppe is an expert in Digital Identities, Authentication and Authorization Infrastructures and trust ecosystems, with a solid background in software development, systems administration and...


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